Thailand, with Bangkok as the main attraction, isn’t always offering fun and extravagant things. Sure, you can definitely expect a lot of enjoyment and fun when coming to the country. But let’s not forget that each country has its own unique custom or habit that may seem unusual or odd for other people, especially foreign tourists. If you are bored with the usual exhibition of attractions, then coming to Wat Hua Krabeu will give another view of Thai’s cultural aspect and value. It will give you a richer and deeper perspective of how diverse our world can be. A sense of appreciation and respect will grow on you.
About Wat Hua Krabeu
Wat Hua Krabeu means Buffalo Heads Temple and it is taking the meaning literally. It is popular because the monks’ unique ’habit’ of the collection has led to the existence of the temple. The first time the temple gained its popularity was because of Phra Khru Wiboonpattankit, an eccentric abbot living on the temple. Several years ago, he made headlines because of his ‘hobby’ in collecting old Mercy limos – he did collect hundreds of them. Because of it, he transformed the wat (temple) into a classic automotive museum. –
But his hobby with the Mercy limos doesn’t seem to be enough that he had created another project. The abbot wants to create a memorial for Asian water buffalo that is at the grave danger of extinction. He wanted to transform the Wat into a memorial spot for the animal whose population has been decreasing since 1987. In the past, there were 6 million water buffaloes in Thailand alone but now the number is only reaching 2 million (even less from it). The main cause is because buffalo meat is now a popular delicacy and the farming industry has been mechanized. Each year, around 400,000 buffaloes are slaughtered for their meat.
Because of this reason, the abbot wants to make a special shrine dedicated to the beasts before they fully disappear. He even planned on building construction with a two-level design that will be filled with the water buffalo memorabilia. In order to reach the construction, you need to pass through a unique tunnel that is constructed and made of buffalo skulls entirely. At the very beginning, some villagers left their buffaloes’ skulls at the wat to honour their deceased buffaloes. When the abbot had decided to create the memorial project, he asked for buffalo skulls donation. But since he realized that he doesn’t have enough collection, he started to ask for money donation so he can buy the skulls from the slaughterhouses. Right now, he has 8,000 collections consisting of preserved horns and heads.
Read also: Wat Rong Khun, a Unique Buddhist Heritage
What to Do
Naturally, you can explore the wat and see what collection is all about. Be advised, though, that you shouldn’t come to the place if being near skulls (even when they are animals) makes you uncomfortable. If you happen to be in the area, you can also explore it. The wat lies in a canal community that is offering a unique traditional and old Thai feel. You should try riding on the canal boat – you won’t find similar experience elsewhere.
Reaching the Place
The only way to reach the place is to drive there or use a taxi. It is located in the western side of Chao Phraya – passing the intersection of Outer Ring Road and Rama 2 within Ban Khun Tien district. Most taxi drivers know it so you shouldn’t find any difficulty coming to the place.
Interested in coming to this temple? Or you just want to come to Bangkok? Plan everything and don’t forget to make a reservation. Go to Airpaz to manage your flights, such as Bangkok Airways, Thai Airways, or Thai Air Asia.